5 things that happen when you don't clean your makeup brushes

Makeup Tips: 5 things that happen when you don't wash your makeup brushes

by Paige Exell -

All of your holy grail skin care products mean nothing if you're just going to apply makeup onto your face with brushes that are hoarding weeks worth of foundation and eyeshadow. Dirty, unwashed makeup brushes can create issues that are totally avoidable if washed properly and regularly. Just as you're keen on washing your face regularly (hopefully), your makeup tools should receive the same attention.

Believe it or not, your latest recurring breakout may have those dirty brushes and sponges to blame. But don't feel too bad: many women overlook cleaning their makeup brushes, meaning you probably aren't alone if this hits close to home!

Still feeling unmotivated to give your grimy tools a five-star treatment? Read on for 5 gross things that can happen when you don't give your makeup brushes and sponges proper care and attention.



When you don't wash your brushes, they can accumulate bacteria, dust and dirt. Each time you use your unwashed makeup brushes, you reapply the microbes that live on your skin. The problems can occur when the brush you are using provides a moist, warm environment and becomes a petri dish that helps the microbes breed faster in the hairs of the brush.


The most important thing to take away from this lesson is that dirty brushes and sponges can lead to breakouts. Sweeping a dirt and bacteria-infested brush all over your face can cause an overload of microbes that your skin isn't used to handling. This can trigger your skin to try and control the overloaded layer by reacting to it with a rash, or blistering or skin eruptions. In other words, breakouts galore! If you're noticing bumps popping up in the same spots that you use your brushes and sponges, it's time to reevaluate your cleanliness.


Our skin reacts to oil and dirt build-up in many ways. Just as an overload of bacteria can trigger breakouts, it can cause your skin to become irritated. Cleaning your brushes regularly will also keep your brush fibres soft, so you won't have to be rough on your face when applying your makeup. The gunkier your brush, the stiffer the bristles become and the more you irritate your skin.


Weeks old makeup that's been settling in your dirty brushes and makeup sponges can clog your pores and oil glands. As you probably know, clogged pores may lead to breakouts. As long as your brushes go uncleaned, you'll just be spreading dirt from your face, into your makeup and back to your face again.


Not only will dirty brushes irritate your skin and cause breakouts, they will also affect the performance of your tools. It's already a struggle trying to blend out shadows for the perfect smoky eye or contour, and grimy brushes only complicate matters by making the application of certain makeup streaky or uneven.

Check out our tips for cleaning your brushes properly!

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